Cisco looks to social connections

Cisco, the company that connects much of the internet through hardware such as switches and routers, is expanding into connections of a different kind: social networks.

Cisco is poised to purchase the technology assets of the tiny social networking site tribe.net, less than a month after acquiring Five Across, a company that designs social networks.

The New York Times says the tribe.net deal

… will give Cisco the technology to help large corporate clients create services resembling MySpace or YouTube to bring their customers together online. And that ambition highlights a significant shift in the way companies and entrepreneurs are thinking about social networks.

They may be called social networks, but from a business perspective, they’re markets. And getting into them is high priority for marketers and, apparently, for Cisco.

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